Developer stalls Coombs Canyon development review
To the ire of a standing-room only crowd, Carson City planning commissioners gave a developer another month or more to work out the details of a controversial development in the Lakeview/Timberline area.
Carson City planning commissioners were none too thrilled with the notion of continuing for a third time a review of a development at the corner of Timberline Drive and Coombs Canyon Road. Barton Properties, represented by Lumos and Associates, wants to put 90 homes and a clubhouse on 19 acres in an area zoned for 1 acre homes. Their proposal is to transfer development rights from 82 acres spread over rocky hills onto the smaller, flat area abutting Coombs Canyon Creek, leaving the rest as dedicated open space.
Carol Dotson, Lumos director of planning, asked for the postponement to give the developer and city staff more time to work out issues regarding infrastructure and traffic.
Commissioners Roger Sedway and John Peery argued developers shouldn’t be allowed to continue items time and again especially when there is intense public notice of a meeting.
“I don’t believe this body needs to be used as a barometer as to whether a project will be acceptable or not,” Peery said.
Apparent by the 80-plus member crowd packed into the Community Center’s Sierra Room, the proposal has no support in the northwest Carson neighborhoods. Those residents even got some support from South Carson City residents like Pat Puchert who watched dense “California homes” development encroach on her multi-acre housing area.
“Fight this,” Puchert said. “Don’t let them change your zoning.”
Crowd members lined up literally 10 deep waiting a turn to express their displeasure with the development. Coombs Canyon road is a “drag raceway” where no one drives the speed limit, argued Kim Aglietti. She also reminded the crowd of a fire more than 10 years ago that destroyed her Coombs Canyon home and would have taken every home in the proposed area with it.
Development on the property has been turned down before because of fire hazard among other reasons, another resident noted.
Donn Simmons said the development would bring an intolerable amount of light that could ruin viewing at the observatory under construction nearby at Western Nevada Community College.
Several residents, including Bill Ballard and Phil Patton, argued there isn’t enough water or utility infrastructure in the area to accommodate a new, dense development.
Mostly, residents argued when they bought their property, they signed on for a certain quality of life that included “a little more open space,” said Loreen Hautekeet.
“We did not want to come in and have the California feeling,” she said.
Sedway requested that the issue not be brought back until all the details of the development are worked out.
— In other business, commissioners recommended the elimination of a 10-year-old rule requiring 500 feet between day-care facilities.
In a 5-1 vote, commissioners agreed with city supervisors that the rule doesn’t make sense. Considering the planning commission regulates day-care locations on a case-by-case review of each project anyway, commissioners decided they have sufficient control over locations to prevent day-care saturation in areas.
Commissioners considered the ordinance change at the request of city supervisors. Supervisors in July stalled a decision on a permit that would have allowed a day-care owner to move her center to her home next door to her current location. The 500-foot rule prevents the move.
Commissioner Roger Sedway voted against the proposal saying a previous Board of Supervisors set the 500-foot rule for a reason. Also, he disagreed with city staff that the proposal wouldn’t harm neighborhoods.
— Commissioners also got a glance at proposed development standards for youth facilities in the single family 6000 zoning area. The proposal is aimed at allowing the Boys and Girls Club to eventually build a new facility on 17 acres off Lompa Lane that sits in a SF 6000 zone. Other ways of rezoning the property won’t work and are considered illegal spot zoning, so city officials are working to change the zone to allow the facility. The standards note the facility should sit on between 5 and 20 acres — which limits the facility to about five locations in Carson City — should be designed in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood and would have to have fencing around the entire site among other details. There will be a public meeting on the plan in a few weeks.